Press Conference Audio: Giants Manager Bruce Bochy
AT&T PARK — Madison Bumgarner made a triumphant return to the World Series stage tonight, pitching seven shutout innings against the Tigers to lead the Giants past Detroit 2-0.
The Giants now have a two-games-to-none lead in this 2012 Fall Classic.
Bumgarner had a rough start to this postseason. In his first two starts against Cincinnati and St. Louis, he went 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA. He failed to make it past the fourth inning in either start, and had only six strikeouts in those two games combined.
Thursday night, however, was a different story.
Bumgarner came out fighting, striking out the first two batters he faced, Austin Jackson and Omar Infante, in the top of the first.
In the second inning, he proved he could pitch his way out of a jam – and was helped out by some great defense.
Press Conference Audio: Giants Hunter Pence & Madison Bumgarer
After hitting Prince Fielder to lead off the inning, Bumgarner allowed a double to left field to Delmon Young.
When Fielder tried to score on the play, however, Gregor Blanco threw the ball in to Marco Scutaro, who made a perfect throw to Buster Posey. Posey swipe-tagged Fielder out at the plate to preserve the shutout for Bumgarner, who buckled down to get out of the inning.
It was all Madison from there on out. The 23-year old right-hander pitched efficiently, needing only 86 pitches to get through seven innings. He also kept the Tigers offense on its’ heels, striking out eight.
In a game where the Giants offense struggled, Bumgarner also gave the 42,892 fans something to celebrate. Especially in the top of the seventh when, after walking Miguel Cabrera to lead off the inning, Bumgarner got Prince Fielder to ground into a 1-6-3 double play to end the threat.
Clubhouse Audio: Giants outfielder Angel Pagan
The Giants needed this strong performance from their young starter because the opposing pitcher was almost as good tonight.
Doug Fister — who grew up a Giants fan and was originally drafted by them before signing with Seattle — was also excellent tonight. Fister went six innings, giving up just four hits and walking no one, while striking out three.
However, one of those hits was a leadoff single to the last batter he faced in the seventh, Hunter Pence.
With no one out, the Tigers brought in left hander Drew Smyly, who walked Brandon Belt. Blanco then laid down a perfect bunt that refused to kick foul along the third baseline and would go for a hit.
With the bases loaded, Brandon Crawford would ground into a double play, bringing home Pence to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.
This meager bulge would prove enough for the Giants pitching staff, which has now given up just four runs in the last forty-five innings. The Giants are 5-0 in that span.
Santiago Casilla shut out the Tigers in the eighth inning, and Sergio Romo slammed the door in the ninth to put the Giants up 2-0 in the Series.
Clubhouse Audio: Giants closer Sergio Romo
The Giants also had a 2-0 lead over the Texas Rangers in the 2010 World Series and ended up beating the Rangers in five games to win their first World Series title in San Francisco history.
For Giants fans, there’s a hope of history repeating – and that hope came a step closer to a reality Thursday night.
Clubhouse Audio: Giants catcher Buster Posey